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Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921: A Kind, Benevolent And Amiable Brick

Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921: A Kind, Benevolent And Amiable Brick back

George Herriman


Page 45 Review by Stephen

The second of three years of the Sunday strips, annotated at the back with contextual explanations for more obscure references, an extra full-colour commission no one seems to know much about, an illustrated account of the characters' early life by Bill Blackbeard and an account of George's cartoons for the Los Angeles times (along with examples of those same cartoons) by Bob Callahan.

Here you'll find the triangle as eternal as ever between Officer Pupp, Krazy the cat, and Ignatz, the brick-throwing mouse. Krazy is still convinced they're tokens of affection, which is one way of coping with rejection. Here you'll find Krazy moved to tears by the plight of a caged canary denied all the joys of free-flying fowl which he demonstrates one by one... outside of his cage. You'll see him creep around on behalf of a pig begging for pennies after Ignatz dobs him in, the sneak. You'll witness the sublime stupidity of Pupp and Ignatz investigating a dark cave with eyes, right under (or above) Krazy's nose. But most of all, there's them thar bricks aflyin'.

I've mentioned before my adoration of Herriman's love of language. We share a similar passion for mischievous neologism but what may surprise some is that Herriman's sounds so modern - or that our own neologisms may be no more than subconscious repetition! "Thumbage" was how Herriman described the action of sticking your hand out to hail a lift. He gleefully writes dialogue like "Maybe, I was mistooken" and "Golla, something has gotta be did".

Here Ignatz discovers a brick (yes, "A brick!" - he's so excited!) and finds a familiar home for it with dialogue that will defy your spellchecker, but I know what I type.

"What a beauty it is too, a black beauty, heavy and solid - I will lean every ounce of its ebony lovliness against that Krazy Kat's koko. Fortune favours me, he comes to his doom."
"There's a lotta sand in Kaibito,
And a lotta moon in Oljeto,
And I'd give half of my bigto
If I could be in Kaibito
Either there, or Oljeto,
For I'm a hoopintootin Navajo yo-ho -"
"Ah, a ainjil's wisitation - a message from cupid. A 'black brick'. Golla, the l'il dahlink must be buying his ammunition from a new brick yard.
"Look, Offissa Pupp. Look at the swell black brick Ignatz has osculated me with just now. Aint he getting to be regla l'il dude?"
"Here's a nice new dollar for you, Krazy - use it, and be happy you old dear."

Regardless of gender, it's probably the strangest love triangle in the world.

Osculate is a real word, by the way, meaning to "kiss". So the next git who tries to tell you that comics are illiterate...? "Osculate" him with the hardcover version of this.

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